**The Crisis of Affordability in Public Higher Education, with special guest Congressman Jim McGovern, October 14, 1 to 5 pm, UMass Amherst **

 

**Action Alert — The Finish Line Grant will be heard TODAY! Use this form to tell the Joint Committee on Higher Education that you support this grant that will help public college and university students stay enrolled and on the path to completion**

 

A message from Horace Mann, written in 1846:

 

“Having no other mines to work, Massachusetts has mined into the human intellect; and, from its limitless resources, she has won more sustaining and enduring prosperity and happiness than if she had been founded on a stratification of silver and gold, reaching deeper down than geology has yet penetrated.”

 

Many of us have used this metaphor without recognizing that it comes from the person who pioneered the notion of universal public education in Massachusetts and in the United States.  That’s because it just make sense:  we have both a stronger economy — “prosperity” — because of our investment in public education, kindergarten through university, and we also have greater “happiness,” which includes communities with more volunteerism, more political participation, fewer crimes, less smoking, and richer cultural lives.

 

PHENOM was founded to make sure that Massachusetts has outstanding public higher education institutions and, equally importantly, that all residents have access to those institutions.  Join us on October 14 at UMass Amherst for an afternoon of discussion of how to make our public higher education institutions more affordable.  Our keynote speaker is Representative Jim McGovern, but we will also have presentations by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and student leaders fighting for debt-free public higher education. Free registration is at http://phenomonline.org/campaigns/affordability-forum-fall-2015/.

 

The latest from PHENOM and the world of public higher education news.

 

–PHENOM is a core member of the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, which is fighting for progressive taxes on millionaires to help pay for the kind of Commonwealth we want.  Today is Invest in Transit day.  Is a good public transportation system unrelated to public higher education?  False!  Thousands of our students commute to our campuses and need safe, reliable public transportation.  There is no “access” to public higher education without being to actually “access” the campus throughout our New England winters. Join us at http://www.raiseupma.org/amendment

 

–Sobering data: eleven of the fifty states spend MORE on prisons than on public higher education. Massachusetts is one of them.  This is a blot on the record of a state that has so much to brag about in public education.   Read the whole report here.

 

— It’s hard to get too much of Horace Mann.  Here’s another quote from his 1846 speech:

 

“…He who studies the present or the historic character of Massachusetts will see (and he who studies it most profoundly will see most clearly) that whatever of abundance, of intelligence, or of integrity, whatever of character at home or of renown abroad, she may possess, all has been evolved from the enlightened and, at least, partially Christianized mind, not of a few, but of the great masses, of her people. They are not the result of outward riches or art brought around it or laminated over it, but of an awakened inward force, working energetically outwards, and fashioning the most intractable circumstances to the dominion of its own desires and resolves; and this force has been awakened and its unspent energies replenished, more than from all things else, by her common schools.” You can find the whole thing here.

 

–PHENOM needs you.  Sign up as a sustaining member for as little as $5 a month.  And if you buy from Amazon, why not just go to smile.amazon.com, choose PHENOM as your charity of choice, and have a portion of your purchases go to PHENOM, at no cost to you.